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Six groups, 24 teams: how will EURO 2016 work?

When is the final tournament draw and how is it organised? How will six groups lead to a knockout phase? UEFA.com looks to answer your UEFA EURO 2016 questions.

The Henri Delaunay Cup is up for grabs next summer
The Henri Delaunay Cup is up for grabs next summer ©AFP/Getty Images

With the identity of all 24 teams that will contest UEFA EURO 2016 next summer now known and the final tournament draw on the horizon, UEFA.com explains exactly how the tournament will work.

How many teams qualify for EURO 2016?
For the first time, 24 nations will contest the UEFA European Championship. As hosts, France have an automatic spot. The other entrants were determined by the European Qualifiers. In the initial stage, the nine group winners, the nine group runners-up and the best third-placed side (Turkey) sealed progress. The eight remaining third-placed teams contested play-offs in November to determine the last four qualifiers.

When is the EURO 2016 final tournament draw?
The 24 contenders will learn their fate when the draw takes place in Paris on Saturday 12 December.


How does the draw work?
There will be four pots of six teams with the exception of Pot 1, which has five because France are not included in the pots as they are automatically assigned as team A1. The teams will be drawn into six groups of four (Groups A to F), starting with Pot 1, then Pot 4 down to 2. The Pots were confirmed after the play-offs:

How does the EURO 2016 group stage work?
The top two in each of the sections, plus the four best third-placed sides, advance to the round of 16.

Who plays who in the EURO 2016 knockout stage?
There are a number of different options for the round of 16 pairings, depending on which third-placed teams qualify from the group stage. For example, if the teams finishing third in groups A, B, C and D qualify, the pairings will be WA v 3C, WB v 3D, WC v 3A and WD v 3B. Only the winners of Groups A to D will face third-placed countries. The eight round of 16 winners then advance to the quarter-finals, and so on.

The full regulations are available here

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